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Published July 28, 2011, 03:29 PM

MN Kidnapping Suspect Sought in Bank Robbery

A man suspected of kidnapping his estranged wife off a Minnesota street just hours after he got out of jail and taking her to Texas is also being sought as a person of interest in a Kansas bank robbery, police said Thursday.

By: Steve Karnowski, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A man suspected of kidnapping his estranged wife off a Minnesota street just hours after he got out of jail and taking her to Texas is also being sought as a person of interest in a Kansas bank robbery, police said Thursday.

Detective Tim Koivunen of the Virginia Police Department in northeastern Minnesota said his department was contacted Thursday by the FBI in Kansas City about a bank robbery that happened July 15. That's the day after Timothy Glen Caskey allegedly abducted his wife.

In the robbery, a man entered the bank, handed the teller a demand note and then fled with an undisclosed amount of money, Koivunen said in a news release. No weapon was seen. The suspect left the bank parking lot in an older red pickup with a female passenger.

Koivunen would not disclose the location of the bank. An FBI spokeswoman did not immediately return a phone message Thursday.

Timothy Caskey already had a long history of domestic violence — along with a criminal record that included carjacking and drug charges — when he got out of the regional jail near Duluth on July 14 after violating an order for protection obtained by his wife, Roberta Lynn Caskey. That restraining order didn't stop him from placing at least three harassing calls to her, starting less than an hour after his release that morning, authorities said, nor did it stop him from kidnapping her that evening.

Roberta Caskey, 44, was walking with a friend and other witnesses along a Virginia street the evening of July 14 when her 40-year-old husband suddenly drove up to them in his red pickup truck, grabbed her around the shoulders and dragged her into the truck through the driver's side door, striking her friend and her 9-year-old son in the process, the FBI said.

Roberta Caskey reported the harassing calls to police, saying she hung up on him each time. Officers spotted him that afternoon, outside a homeless shelter two blocks from her home, Koivunen said. But he didn't have a phone on him, the detective said, and the officers couldn't prove he made the calls, which came from other people's phones. While there was still a restraining order against him, he was outside the one-block limit, so the officers had no legal grounds to keep following him, Koivunen said.

"He was warned to stay away from her. The victim was advised that he was out. The victim was advised to stay at home and advised to call police if there were any problems with him," the detective said.

The Caskeys last were reported seen two days later in New Braunfels, Texas, when a man and woman matching their descriptions went to KB Auto Sales, a used car dealer, and asked to test drive a white 1998 Chevrolet Z71 extended cab pickup truck, police said. The man provided Timothy Caskey's driver's license. They never returned the truck, but police recovered his red 1991 GMC Sierra pickup with Minnesota plates at the dealer and found a knife under the driver's seat.

Timothy Caskey was charged with kidnapping last week in federal court. Arrest warrants also were out for him on Minnesota charges of false imprisonment and parole violation, and for vehicle theft in New Braunfels. The FBI offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

The FBI said Timothy Caskey was known to frequent campgrounds and rural back roads, and authorities feared he might have been headed for Mexico. Koivunen explained that Timothy Caskey had been to Mexico before and was once picked up in Ixtapa by American authorities during one of his previous run-ins with the law. One inmate told investigators he spoke fluent Spanish and taught some of it to his fellow prisoners during his most recent stint in jail, he said.

"There have been a lot of hours put into this," Koivunen said. "Hopefully we will have a positive outcome and soon. Right now our main concern is for the victim. We just want to get her home safe."

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